Archive for the ‘creative corner’ Category

Spoilers:

With the end of the eight episode Defenders season.  The Hand is seemingly done.

End of Spoilers.

Where does The MNU (Marvel Netflix Universe) go from here?

Daredevil: I am hoping they go the route of Born Again.  And bring back King Pin to tear Matt Murdock’s life to pieces from the shadows.  Or with events of Defenders have Matt Murdock truly trying to be retired only to have Bullseye pull him back into the life of Daredevil to save his friends.  One aspect in defenders that can be brought up in Season 3 of Daredevil which would reflect the comics.  Open the season with a recovered Matt Murdock in Washington DC fighting to have a bill brought to law which would allow Vigilantes the right to be used in trials as witnesses and seemingly legitimize what Matt does on the side.  There is many things that can be done for Daredevil.

Jessica Jones: I would like to see things progress for Jessica and bring out the sidekick side of Patsy.  Maybe have Jessica go in investigative journalism to connect The MNU and The MCU by having Jessica work at The Daily Bugle.  Have Jessica go up against Bobby Tisdell or Victoria Hand.  Victoria can keep the whole H.A.M.M.E.R industries aspect of the MNU alive.

Luke Cage: Seeing the positive impact he had on Danny Rand.  Have Luke Cage and Iron Fist team up for a season.  A La Power Man and Iron Fist.  Iron Fist was way better in Netflix with Luke Cage.  Have Them fight Owl

Iron Fist:  His series was the weakest of all the MNU.  The way the season ended his appearance and powers returning in Defenders made no sense at all.  For season two like I said have Danny team up with Luke to help Danny build up his confidence.

Punisher:  As this character has not had a season of his own yet I am not going to say what I hope happens…..besides for maybe wishing Thomas Jane appears in a cameo.

The Defenders Season 2:  My hope is that All the MNU shows some how connects everything together.  In each of the series.  Have King Pin work in the shadows throwing hired guns King Pin has met in Jail against the Defenders.  And have King Pin return in The Defenders season 2 as the main villain like OHHHH IT ALL MAKES SENSE King Pin was making The Anti-Defenders Bullseye, Victoria Hand, Owl and Bobby Saint.  It is why I love the character of the King Pin so much he is a mastermind and knows how to get things done.

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The Rise of Nerdly Radio

Posted: February 10, 2017 by hieiyyh2 in creative corner
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Beginning production of Nerdly Radio Podcast has begun.   The first step to making it official has been set and that is to create a  Twitter specifically for it.  You can follow @Nerdly_R_Pcast If all goes well Snapchat and Instagram will be the same.  Stay tuned!!

This is the brain child I have been working on in my head for the past few years ever since I created The Sons of Geekdom Podcast with my old friend Jon.  Nerdly Radio Podcast and the Podcast Network I wish to create was inspired by Chris Hardwick; Chris Booker and Elvis Duran.  These three were a HUGE inspiration to me in many ways.  I can probably never thank them in person but I thank them none the less.

The sound of a bell can be heard ringing throughout the FCFF state of the art arena.  A microphone descends from the rafters to the announcer’s hand.

“WELCOME FIGHT FANS TO ANOTHER NAIL BITING EPISODE OF FICTIONAL CHARACTER FICTION FIGHT!!”   The crowd goes wild and from the commentators box we see our host standing by.

“Good evening fight fans.  Tonight is a match up that is not soon to be forgotten.  Tonight’s fight is a fight of wits, bravery, stealth and variety of combat.  Tonight we pit.  Oliver Queen A.K.A The Green Arrow vs Ezio Auditore Da Firenze.  FCFF Database bring forth our combatants and enlighten the fans.”

Time Stream Active, combatant located 1504

Ezio Auditore Da Firenze.
Age: 44
Profession: Master Assassin
Skills: Free Running; Pick Pocketing; Hand to Hand Combat; Sword Combat; Hidden Weapon Combat; Eagle Sense; Blending Into Crowds; Public Assassination
Weapons: Short Sword; Hidden Blade; Hook Blade; Throwing Knives; Poison Darts; Smoke Bombs; Wheel Lock Wrist Mounted Gun; Crossbow
Armor: The Master Assassin’s Personal armor which combines upgrades to his Father’s armor/Robes and combines elements of Ezio’s ancestor Altair.

Accomplishments:

At the age in which we found our combatant, he has been in office of Master Assassin of Italian Assassins for only 1 year.  He has successfully assassinated a slew of notable templars including the Pope Borgia.  The 11 years that followed led Ezio to search for more of the order of Assassins and brought him to the birth place of the order which had been overrun by Templars.  Ezio’s time as Master Assassin shaped not just Italian members but global members as well.  Ezio will in the future speak directly to one of his future modern day decedent Desmond Miles.  Even later than the time we have plucked the combatant out of.  Before retiring Ezio’s speed in free running was unmatched even by younger assassins and theives.

Ezio at the age of 18 and not formally trained in the art of assassination stumbled upon his father’s armory when his family home in Venice was attacked by the templars.  In order to save his family he suited up in his father’s armor and rushed headlong to the site where his father, and brothers were executed only to reach them too late.  Ezio is chased out of the city by Borgia and his men.

Ezio’s training and induction into the order of assassins were handled by his uncle and now mentor Mario.  Ten years Ezio spent at his uncles Villa training night and day in order to take revenge upon Borgia.  Even after leaving the tutelage of his uncle Ezio never stopped training.  Keeping himself in peek physical condition.  It was rumored that near the end of his life it was Ezio’s lack constantly training that lead to his demise and having a heart attack on a bench in his Personal Villa with his daughter looking on as her father went peacefully into the afterlife.

Ezio arsenal of weapons are the work of Leonardo Da Vinci.  Both masterful and elegant they are fine tuned and deadly.  Coupled with his skills these weapons can be used in many different ways and fashions.  Disarming is an art that has served Ezio well over the years to give him the advantage in close range combat.  But his biggest asset comes in his Eagle Sense.  The eagle sense is a heightened form of Eagle Vision.  Not only can Ezio pick out enemies in crowd, he can easily track objects as well.

 

Universal Temporal Field Lock…….. Area Scan….. Area Scan.  Target Locked.
Oliver Queen Located………. Transporting.

Oliver Queen
Alias: The Arrow, The Emerald Archer, The Green Arrow
Occupation: Mercenary and Detective as Green Arrow
Mayor of Star City as Oliver Queen
Skills: Free Running, Master Archer, Multiple Forms of Hand to Hand Combat, Arrow Making, Botany, Fluent in multiple languages, Inflitration Expert, Torture,
Known affiliations: A.R.G.U.S; The League of Shadows; The Justice League; Team Arrow
Weapons: Bow and Arrows, Trick Arrows, Sword, Dagger, hand darts,

Oliver Queen was a rich and pampered playboy for the vast majority of his life.  Born with a platinum spoon in his mouth.  Was also a known womanizer.  That is until he was ship wrecked on an island and forced to learn to survive.  The Island was a cruel place which quickly broke the fragile boy and tempered him into a man.  On the island he would run into non-other than the merciless mercenary Slade Wilson.  Slade would be come instrumental in Oliver’s fighting skills and honing Oliver’s killer instinct.  But the two’s relationship went south and they became bitter enemies the animosity came to a head after Slade became nearly unstopable super solider.  On a ship of the scientist who wanted to the super solider formula made by the WWII Japanese Scientists. Oliver took out Slade’s eye and the ship went down and Oliver thought Slade had died.  Oliver was subsequently picked up in the ocean by A.R.G.U.S and brought to Hong Kong.  A.R.G.U.S “rescued” Oliver in order to bring him into the agency and be a tool for killing bad guys.  Without realizing it Oliver learned many skills from his “Handler” mostly the art of Torture.

Oliver’s skill with the bow is nearly unmatched, the only people on the planet closest to his skills is Malcolm Merlin and Oliver’s own Protege Speedy.  Oliver has displayed on many occasions hitting multiple targets with one shot finding and hitting the mark even if the target is moving.  After a confrontation with Ras Al Ghul the leader of the League of Shadows.  Oliver’s skills were questioned and after coming back from near death Oliver fell in with the league to become the next Ras Al Ghul.  His training in sword and archery were only increased and honed to a razor’s edge.  It is debateble on weather or not Oliver can go Toe to Toe with batman but we will save that for another time.

 

The Field is set sending in the combatants.

 

The field is a city scape.  In this fight neither have a home court advantage as the both thrive in this setting. Oliver perched on high looks about for any signs of danger to the city.  Always on guard.  Down below Ezio goes over the information he has gleaned on his target Oliver Queen.  Once he done he puts the paper away and concentrates and looks around spotting a potential enemy on the roof of a near by building.  Quickly Ezio is gone and moving milling through the crowd.

On the roof top Oliver waits knowing patience will win out.  Than he heard just the tiniest of gravel move and Oliver spins just in time to catch a throwing knife flying at his head.

“And whom do I have the pleasure of being attacked by tonight?”  Oliver says muscles on edge as he watches the calm hooded man before him.  “WHO SENT……….”  The assaliant throws down something small which fills the roof with smoke.  Acting on instinct alone Oliver swings his bow out catching a sword in mid swing. “You’re not fooling around.”

As the camera trys to catch a glimpse of the fight in the smoke all you hear is clink, clink, clink.  The smoke clears as the silent hooded Ezio uses the momentum of a swing from oliver to disarm bow from archer.  Ezio’s sword gets replaced into it’s sheath and he holds up his hand and motions Oliver forward.  Oliver makes a break for the bow and with impressive speed he rolls under a punch from Ezio and toward the bow.  And in one quick motion Oliver gets off a shot and mid flight the head of the arrow pops and the punching glove trick arrow catches ezio in the face knocking him back. Capitalizing on the situation Oliver follows up his shot and hits Ezio with a grapple arrow pinning ezio to the pole behind him.  “WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING ME?”

Ezio looks up and grins and with a heavy accent of Italian.  “Because Mr. Queen you are my target.”  With a few quick moves Ezio is out and with speed born from years of assassinating people Ezio throws his knife spins and throws another and another and than something else.  Oliver blocks the three but gets caught in the arm with the forth.  The effects are immediate and Oliver stumbles…. and before he can react Ezio is in his face punching Oliver in the stomach and than grabbing him by the face.  The hidden blade on his wrist pops out the back of Oliver’s neck and the green arrows body goes limp.

Ezio helps the limp body to the ground and swipes the blood of his target’s neck onto a white handkerchief.

The scene pulls out and Ezio and Oliver both get zapped and sent back to their respective timelines and places.

Host:  AND THERE YOU HAVE IT.  The Winner is Ezio.  Both were very skilled combatants.  But Olivers down fall was his inability or willingness to kill.  Ezio’s training in combat far outclasses Oliver’s the crafty old Assassin was able to combine his thrown weapons to get in the edge.

Creative Corner

Posted: October 4, 2015 by Andi Pants in creative corner
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(Our usual creative writer, Penn, is stuck in his own whirlwind of hooplah! which is why this one is so late… and you’ll be stuck with another from me this month.)

His eyes, usually the vibrant blue, had been tainted by the yellow that formed where the whites should’ve been, the color crept slowly into the iris, threatening to take over completely. He had the man by the throat, holding him up against the wall as if it was effortless, as if the man weighed no more than a feather. A deep feral growl came from him as the man whimpered and did his best to wiggle free from the grasp. Leon was hardly aware of the small red head at his side, begging and pleading for him to not kill the man, her voice was a distant whisper somewhere in the back of his mind. “Yeah man…” The guy whose life was in the hand of the werewolf choked. “Listen to… the… lady…” The helpless man pat at the tense hand at his throat and shot his eyes to the girl, no more than 18 at his best guess; she held two small swords in her hands for only a moment before putting them away, the silver of the blades being cloaked by a dark sheath.

No sooner did her hands touch Leon’s arm, his instant reaction was to remove the obstacle, and so he did, flinging the small female a good ten to fifteen feet away. She crumbled onto the ground with hardly more than a grumble and a whimper. She remained there for a moment, regaining her senses as her long hair tumbled in front of her face in layered waves. “Cal… We’re going to need you…” She grumbled while slowly pushing herself to her feet. She heard the distressed response from the succubus and shook her head. “When you can.” She replied before straightening her stance, holding her left hand to the back of her head a warm light glowing, slowly healing the redhead, sealing the wound, stopping the blood she felt trickling down the back of her neck, tangling itself into the strands of already red hair.

“Leon…” She began, stepping up to the werewolf again, being sure to stay out of arm, and leg reach. She’d only seen him this way once before, and for a moment, she was able to snap him out of it, but it was Callie who soothed the savage beast that raged now, and Taryn was afraid that it’d be just the same again. At hearing his name, the tall man shifted his gaze from the man he held against the crackling drywall to the little red head. He bared his teeth which were now formed into fangs and growled at her. Her instant response, knowing that Leon often growled at her, was to bare her own teeth, and growl back, in the only manner that a small female could. “Snap out of it man. You know what’ll happen if he dies at your hand. He is a human…” She pleaded while pointing to the useless man. Callie quietly stepped into view behind Leon, doing all she could, though knowing it would fail to sneak up to him, all she needed was her hand to his flesh and this bomb would be defused.

He moved with preternatural speed, jerking around to face Callie, even having switched the hand that held the man at the throat, causing the poor soul to choke and gasp all over again. “Oh hey there big man…” She smiled and nodded, putting her hands out defensively. “Just… Ya know… Checking on you.” Leon let out a growl so loud it may as well have been a roar. Callie nodded and took a few steps back but her attention shifted sharply as she heard the snap, quickly followed by the shriek of the red head screaming ‘no’ in response to what had happened.

“No, no, no, no…” The red head shoved at the werewolf forgetting any bit of caution that she had for herself. It distracted Leon enough for Callie to get a hand on his wrist; no sooner did their flesh connect in contact had his eyes shifted the feral yellow of the wolf that controlled him seemed to fade away instantly; his hand going limp even as Taryn pushed him one more time, catching him off balance. “No, he’s not. He’s not…” The little red head was mumbling incoherently as she knelt next to the man, throwing her gloves off and rubbing her hands together furiously. “I’ll fix it. It’ll be better.” She nodded as she looked up to Leon with a quick flash of a smile before cupping her hands around the man’s throat, though not physically touching him, one hand at the front and one at the back.

Leon blinked a few times, taking it all in before jerking his hand away from Callie, kneeling next to the man and the red head. There was a distinct fear running through his entire body, making the man who typically ran at 100 degrees on an average feel colder than he had been in his entire life. He stared intently at Taryn’s hands, as if willing them to correct his error. “Shit…” He mumbled and shook his head. Even as he did, Taryn did the same, shaking her head while looking to him.

“Nah, Leon, it’ll be okay. You’ll see…” The remainder of the group had joined, Saron stared down, placing a hand on Callie’s shoulder, as well as the kneeling Leon’s, assessing the situation quickly, the usually aloof Saron grew somber, standing still silently as the four of them all but prayed that Taryn would be able to fix it. “Why don’t you guys take a walk, I need to focus, I am running on borrowed time here…” She nodded and flipped her long red hair over her shoulder before rubbing her hands together again this time forming an orb between her hands and shoving it into the man’s chest. His flesh seemed to glow momentarily, body convulsing like he had been shocked before slumping into a lifeless pile on the ground again. “No!” She shouted at the body before doing it again.

Werewolves, for all their strength and dexterity, had a weakness, just as anyone else. For each human life that was taken by them they became haunted by the soul of the person who had died. A curse that would follow them for the remainder of their lives, as if having a conscience wasn’t bad enough; it then escalates to having someone that no one else could see, or hear follow you at almost all times, tied to your soul as a permanent mark of what you had done. A great number of wolves had gone insane with the amount of souls that had been tied to their own. A similar number of wolves had killed themselves because of it. In his 24 years he had managed to control it, or get it under control before it got this far.

They all looked as Taryn drained herself into trying to bring back the man, it was something so simple, heal a broken bone, she’d done it plenty of times. But she’d never brought someone back from the dead, and she was determined to not give up until she gave out. As the group watched the color from her skin and hair fade from the usual pale porcelain and vibrant red, it was Leon who leaned forward and shook his head, gently taking the girl’s hands. “No use… Even you have limits, Taryn…” He muttered before sitting up. Taryn pulled away from him, trying again, putting everything she had into it, even as the tears started down her cheeks. With one last orb; one last effort of what energy she could muster, the red head fainted, her body collapsing on the ground next to the one that she had tried so desperately to save.  Leon shook his head and shifted, catching her just before she hit the ground because of him, for the second time that night; something that he would beat himself up for surely.

“She’s got a good heart.” An unfamiliar voice started as Leon scooped the girl off of the ground and turned to face his team, there, next to Callie and Saron was a non-corporeal version of the man whose physical body laid on the ground. “Either that or she’s got the hots for you.” He smirked and shrugged, shifting his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Think I’m stuck in this one outfit for the rest of your life?” He seemed to rock from his heels to his toes, though Leon was wise enough to realize that he wasn’t there, that it wasn’t real.

“Shut up…” He muttered before shifting his eyes to Callie and Saron, “He’s next to you.” He growled, Callie literally jumped as far as the little motion would allow, bringing Saron to bend in half laughing. Leon smirked, and shifted the red head. “Let’s go.”

Once they had returned to their quarters everything seemed to have a hushed calm blanket over. “I’ll take first watch.” Taryn jumped to her feet and shuffled after Leon, who looked at her with the look of ‘Uh.. What?’. Taryn propped her hands on her hips and looked behind her to Callie and Saron. “We discussed it while you were in the shower. For the first night or so, one of us is going to keep an eye on you, and… you…” she wiggled her index finger around the room meaning the spirit that now followed Leon. “And trust and believe me mister, I did what I could to save your ass, but if need be, I’ll take my own trip to the spirit world and give you a whipping if you’re not nice to my puppling.” Leon growled as Saron and Callie laughed. Taryn waved Leon on toward his personal quarters where she’d keep camp on the ground.

“This is weird, you don’t have to do it. Dave even says you don’t.” He shrugged off to the right side, watching the bright green eyes shift from him to the air next to him. “Yeah, his name is Dave. We’re sorta on a first name basis.” Taryn bit the inside of her lip, hiding the smirk.

“Well, lead on puppling, you’re stuck with me tonight…” She took a deep breath in before dropping her usual happy façade. “I need this…” She confessed as she closed the door to rec room behind herself.

Leon shook his head before shifting to a nod. “I know you do, that’s why I’m not protesting it as much as I’d like.” He wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close as they walked the all of 50 feet of the government styled hallway to his room, “But…” the arm that wrapped around her, snaked so that his arm was around her neck. “Keep calling me those little pet names, and we’re going to fight…” He took his fist and rubbed it all over the top of her head as she flailed and wiggled, pushing at his arm, the both of them laughing for the first time since they were brought back to the strange barracks that they had grown to know as ‘home.’

That night had been filled with talk, and very little sleep. Leon and Taryn came to know Dave, his life, and that he wasn’t as horrible of a person as what they had been told that Dave was. For a short period of time, Leon had felt worse about what had happened with Dave; but both Dave and Taryn changed his thought process, showing him that it was better to be stuck with the soul of someone who wasn’t horrible, nor the soul of an Underling, the twisted demonic creations that special teams, like the one that Leon and Taryn were assigned to, were brought together to kill.

The Rise

Posted: September 10, 2015 by hieiyyh2 in creative corner
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At this point it is fan fiction as I will never be able to write for Vampire: The Masquerade Officially

This is the beginning of a story I came up with for V:tM set in NYC.  A bit of setting.  The Camarilla has managed to hold the city for the better part of fifteen years with the Sabbat sweeping the East Coast, NYC is the foot hold On the East Coast for the Camarilla as they try to reverse the tidal wave of the Sabbat.  In this fan fiction I will take through the turmoil of NYC.

 

The Majestic Theater
New York City, August 31 2015
Midnight

The theater was quiet save for the sound of the night janitorial crew clean and making sure the theater was clean for the cast of Phantom of the Opera to rehearse in the morning.  The cameras watched the slow process and Marcus Prince head of the security for The Majestic watched the monitors and took notes.  Everything seemed normal as prince’s eyes scanned for anything.  Nothing ever happened at night, but he had to be alert his boss Alejandro Baxton was expecting his utter best.  Sipping his coffee he turned away from the monitors which blinked off and than back on by the time Marcus turned back.  The only company Marcus had was his radio which played the sultry tones of Mozart.

The night was going normally until Marcus’s eyes landed on monitor seven, the picture was suddenly alive with activity as one of the Janitor’s flew backward hitting hard and landing on his face.  Marcus watched on in horror as the janitor’s body floated off the floor.  The Janitor’s legs kicking helplessly at the air beneath.  When the Janitor’s head began to tear from the rest of his body, Marcus picked up the only weapon he had his Smith and Wesson Collapsible heat treated baton, his cell phone and keys to the building.  Before exiting he did what his boss had ordered, call him, not the police….. “Fuck no answer.”  Marcus cursed as he made his way out into the theater’s halls.

Upon exiting, Marcus was shocked to see another janitor mouth permanently open in a state of shock.  “George?” He said and knelt, not registering the fact that his voice made no noise.  Marcus felt for a pulse, only to find none.  “Who ever……” He started shocked to find no sound came from his mouth.  Marcus did the only thing he could think of and flicked his wrist to make his baton go to it’s proper length.  The seasoned security guard, kept his head on a swivel as he made his way down the halls.  Finding more bodies as he moved.  He made his way to the main audience area.  What he found shocked him more than the bodies in the halls.

Hanging from the ceiling was the main prop of the iconic show which was featured at this theater.  The Chandelier, rigged with a bomb and mangled inside was Alejandro who was slowly coming to.  Before he could call out for help a man was in his face fist flying.  With no time to react, Marcus knocked out cold.

………………………………………………………….

Looking down at the body of the head of security, the unknown man dusted his knuckles.  “Is that best your pets can do Alejandro?  I am sorely disappointed in you.  At least when the sabbat ran things in this city, our ghouls were tougher.  I look forward to dismantling the grip The Camarilla has on this city.  I will start by turning your precious pet.”  The unknown man said as he grinned up at the barely conscious prince of the city. “Say goodbye to him.”  He said as he dug his fangs in and drained The Security guard dry.  ”
“I will make him like me a master of shadow.  A much more worthy new vampire than a stuffy old Ventrue like yourself.”  He said as Alejandro moved around.

…………………………………………………………….

Alejandro had no wear to go, no wear to call out too.  All he could think of doing finding away to save Marcus from a fate in the Sabbat.  He used his only option and prayed he could get his vitae into the drained  ghoul.  With a grunt of concentration, Alejandro tore open his flesh with a movement against his restraints and allowed his blood to fall down and into his now dead ghoul’s mouth….  NOO he thought as his blood and that of man who was turning his ghoul mixed in Marcus’s waiting mouth…. What would the fate of Marcus Prince be with mixed vitae in his system.

It was time for plan B.

Closing his eyes in defeat, Alejandro let his spirit exit his body to the Astral Plane he wasn’t sure how this would play out but he no other option.  The spirit clung onto Marcus’s body and stayed with him even as the unknown assaliant dragged Marcus out of the building and into a van and off into the night..  He had to hope that this would work as the timer next to him dwindled down to 0 and than detonated.

…………………………………………………………..

The Majestic theater exploded taking chunks of the adjoining building with it.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this preview of my Vampire: The Masquerade Fan-Fiction.  If you want me to continue please like and comment below.  Thank you

Creative Corner

Posted: August 13, 2015 by Andi Pants in creative corner
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Here comes another wonderful writing from Penn! He promises that next month will be even better. I’m excited!

It was an odd sort of night. Lucas was in bed for starters and if that weren’t enough, he was actually asleep. Not a deep sleep, the General of Val Liens rarely ever fell into a deep sleep, but it was a comforting sleep. He could feel the body that slept next to him, and a small smile spread across his lips. While their marriage had been an attempt to keep her children out of shame, and furthermore keep the naysayers away from her rule, Lucas and Delphi had come into an easy love. He knew it would never be a fairy tale. The evening she’d called him to her bedchamber to explain her proposal, he knew it would be much how the nobles arranged marriages all over Thedas. Still, it had been a more fulfilling marriage than he had expected.

Her soft breath was enough of an indication that it was ok. Things were ok, despite the chaos erupting everywhere around them. She had sought his council again discussing what actions she should take. First and foremost, he had said, he was with her in whatever capacity she chose to be involved. Circumstances notwithstanding, he knew her friendship with Honorah was deep and if The Duchess of Val Liens wished to pledge her support to the Inquisition, then The Lion would lead her troops as necessary. Even if she had to relocate to wherever the Inquisition was headquartered, Lucas would be able to remain behind in Val Liens. The city was a marvel to behold for sure, but as a military stronghold, its design was second to none.

A gentle shake was all it took to get him awake. It was his Lieutenant on watch. “What is it,” Lucas asked in a whisper. The man nodded and pointed his head out of the door. Whatever it was, it needed to be told to Lucas before Delphi could hear it. Which meant whatever it was, was meant for the Duchess’ General, not her husband and advisor. Lucas quietly got out of bed and followed the man out into the hallway. “I apologize, sir, but this couldn’t wait.” Lucas’ Lieutenant looked scared. He was a man who’d seen enough of battle to not be so easily rattled.

“One of our rangers came in through the North gate not thirty minutes ago. No one else came with him, he was part of a group, some ten to fifteen men. He said they were slaughtered, he’d managed to escape…but only just.” Lucas was impatient as they began walking towards Lucas’ private wing, but with the way the man spoke, he needed to let out his fears. “It seems…the Templar’s have taken a disliking to the Duchesses choice in support. The ranger he said there were at least three battalions less than a day away.”
Less than a day. There wasn’t enough to time for them all to leave. No…but there would be enough time if someone stayed. “Send two runners. One is to sound the alarm in the city, spread the word that Val Liens must empty, anyone who remains and is able bodied will be provided a sword and shield. The second to the men at the Academy and from there the barracks. The majority will leave with the citizens out of the South gate, I require a token force, volunteers, to remain behind. We will hold them until the people are safely away.”

There was a moment of hesitation from his Lieutenant. “I’ll wake her. Send for the maid…tell her to prepare the children for travel and prepare a messenger raven…I have to send word to Ser Cousland.”

In the few moments that came, Lucas was dressed for war. His shield, for the moment hung heavy and dangerous on his back. His broadsword likewise, silently deadly in its scabbard waiting for its gift of death to be bestowed upon his enemies. He carefully entered her bedchamber even as the first of the alarms began to ring in the city just outside the large window that ran along her side of the bedroom. She awoke with a start, sleep still clinging to her beautiful face. This was what he would fight for, this moment where she was not the Duchess, she was Delphi…and if even for a few years had been his wife. “Why are you in your armor, Lucas? You hadn’t scheduled a false alarm, or did you?” He walked to her side of the bed and gently cupped her face with his rough, callused yet gentle hands. He kissed her head softly and thumbed her cheek in one motion. “No, my little duchess. This is no false alarm. Templar’s are a day away at best…they have taken insult to your choice of support.”

She rose to protest and he shook his head. “The alarm has been sounded, the orders given.” At the same moment her handmaiden walked in with their…no…her children. They were more entangled with sleep than their mother, but they still seemed to understand something was not right. “I have ordered the city emptied. If we all made our way south, they would catch us and slaughter every person.” He took a deep breath and gave his world, his life a small smile. “I will remain behind with a volunteer force. If they break through, or send part of their force after you, you will have protection and the means to repel any attack as it may come.”

Again she made to protest and he calmly put a hand on her shoulder. “You will lead your people to safety. I’ve already sent word to Laurence, the raven should arrive by mid-morning. I’ve instructed him to meet you at this location,” He gave her a small map with the name of a village circled, “In two days time. He will be able to help more than I at that point.” Finally she managed to grab his hand and stare at him fiercely. “You will not remain here, you will come with me and the children.” He shook his head. “For the first time, my love. I must go against your wishes. My first duty is to honor and preserve you and I will not risk your life, or theirs. Get dressed. Your horse is already saddled.”

“Lucas, stop. There has to be another way.” She pleaded and he fought against the urge to just leave. He turned to her and embraced her, closing his eyes and breathing in her scent. “Through one thousand worlds, and ten thousand lifetimes. I will search for you…and I will wait for you in all of them.”

It was the last thing he’d ever say to her.

————————————–

It had taken a few more moments and tears that Lucas could not shed before they managed to separate. The lingering feel of her lips on his would be one of the last memories he carried to the field that day. The Lion of Val Liens fought for his home, for his men and for his Duchess. The Templar army was utterly routed but at the cost of every man who had remained behind to defend the ill and elderly who could not vacate the city in time. They delayed the army long enough for The Duchess to rendezvous with her Serpent and eventually came back to a Val Liens that was still free, where the common folk spoke of how the Lion defended his den from the wolves.

Years later, when sorting through old papers a letter fell out of a stack of things molding and rotting. The penmanship was masculine and she immediately recognized it as Lucas’ hand. It was the letter he’d sent Laurence the night he’d stayed to save them all.

“Laurence, I don’t have time to explain. You must ride out at first opportunity for the village circled on the map below. Delphi and the children will either be there already or meet you there. Templar’s marched against Val Liens, I remained.” There were a few attempts to start, but none legible until he wrote one more sentence. “Your son has a deep love for horses, I’ve encouraged it as best as I could. Your daughter has had an affinity for the bow, another hobby that I have encouraged and assisted as best as I could. They will be under your care now. Take care of them…they are all that will be left of me.”